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Cisco Network Management: Now with New and Improved Management Across the IP NGN

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

If you’re a network administrator, at times it may seem like the IP network traffic and volume of IP addresses and devices you oversee are increasing at an unmanageable pace.  On top of that, the complexity and size of IP networks continue to expand, and network operators are beginning to transition to IPv6 and introduce new technologies and services into their networks (VoIP, video, cloud computing, virtualization, etc.). Network operators need to accelerate provisioning and simplify service activation.

Given the mission-critical importance of DNS and DHCP services in today’s service provider and enterprise networks, you now face huge challenges with IP address management that must be addressed. Without a fast, reliable, and secure DNS service, subscribers’ broadband Internet access will be compromised. If DNS fails, the Internet will fail. Likewise, DHCP is a core network access technology – every device must be assigned a unique address when connected to the network, a virtually impossible task to undertake manually.

To effectively address these challenges, network administrators need an integrated solution for DNS, DHCP, IPAM (DDI) to effectively manage IP address growth and help automate the adoption of IPv6.

And that’s just what Cisco is now providing.

As part of its service provider network management portfolio, Cisco is introducing Cisco Network Registrar 7.2 which provides an integrated, scalable, reliable solution for DDI across multiple technologies to simplify management of IP addresses and the transition to IPv6. Cisco Network Registrar is the industry’s fastest and most scalable DHCP server – able to assign more than 47,000 leases per second on a Cisco B-Series UCS platform (and 14,000 leases per second on a non-Cisco hardware platform) and support more than 50 million devices in a single customer deployment.

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IPv6 Automatic Addressing

Can anyone remember a time before DHCP?

In those dark days, some poor IT technician maintained a document mapping specific IP addresses to individual devices.  People had to ensure that they connected a new device to the correct subnet cable and that they entered address parameters carefully since a simple typographical error could knock an important server offline.  While protocols like BOOTP emerged to help provision devices, the manual tedium of mapping users to fixed IP addresses remained.

It was this environment that inspired the IPv6 Stateless Address AutoConfiguration (SLAAC) protocol.  The size of the IPv6 address space made it possible for a device to autonomously create a unique address once it learned the local router’s IPv6 prefix.  No requests, no central server, and no manual management.  Any IPv6 device dropped on an active IPv6 network could start communicating right away.

IPv4 users took a different path to “plug and play” networking.  BOOTP evolved into DHCP, where one-to-one mapping gave way to a system in which a server could dynamically hand out time-limited IPv4 address “leases” to devices on a subnet without any user intervention.  In addition, DHCP could administrative parameters (options) to these devices.  Finally, the server provided centralized tracking and administrative control over IP address assignment. Read More »


The Federal Government and IPv6 World Day

As you may know, June 8th is going to be an important day for the Internet!

It is World IPv6 Day :

This day for 24 hours, most of the majors content providers will enable IPv6 on their front door. is going to be one of these web sites that will be reachable on IPv6 Internet, among 100’s of others globally, including  Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Akamai and many more. You can see the complete list of participants here.

Notably, many of the Federal Government Agencies are also participating such as:

National Library of Medicine

United States Federal Aviation Administration

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

United States Office of Personnel Management

National Technical Information Service

United States Census Bureau


US Department of Veterans Affairs

Cisco has been very much leading the industry through this transition. The TAC (technical Assistance Center) and the service organization will support both the planning phase of World IPv6 Day, as well as providing customer support.

Government has been at the forefront of  IPv6, and should continue to take the lead on this effort.  Please read our whitepaper on the subject (you have to register) and check out our Federal IPv6 Site.

And I’ll make this offer – any Government Agency that would like to participate in World IPv6 Day but needs a little help through the transition, please write me directly and we’ll get you lots of help.

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On The Edge: Innovations that Break Down Borders

The best way to predict the future is to create it.”Peter Drucker

In 1989, a couple of amazing changes occurred that are still affecting our world today. The Berlin Wall fell, and a little company called Cisco developed the Border Gateway Protocol so routers could eventually connect the entire world. These developments still reverberate through our lives as outdated social, political, and economic borders continue to break down, and we enjoy more freedom than ever to connect and interact with virtually anyone.

While the public debate on the abstract value of these freedoms continues, most private organizations see very concrete value in giving their employees, partners, and customers the ability to connect globally using any type of device or media. And they’re investing accordingly.

For example, more than half of all companies surveyed* have already spent some of their precious I.T. budgets deploying video or collaborative applications, allowing personal devices for work use, or adopting software as a service models. Of course, these new innovations also require more bandwidth and more security; but leading organizations are minimizing additional costs and earning ROI sooner by integrating these new technologies directly into their routing infrastructure, which in turn can actually reduce overall traffic loads and complexity.

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World IPv6 Day and the Internet of Things

Post from George O’Meara

SVP, US and Canada, Cisco Services

If you’ve been paying attention you will have heard that the world’s supply of IPv4 addresses is running out. While this isn’t a Y2K situation, it’s an important watershed in the explosive growth of the Internet.  As the world shifts from an Internet of People and Places to an Internet of Things the foundation of the Internet is changing from IPv4 to IPv6.

Is Cisco ready to address the issue?

We’ve had working IPv6 code since 1996 for starters.  So we have some very seasoned support engineers who can answer all your questions at the IPv6 Cisco Support Community site. If you need help assessing your business needs, you can use our professional service offerings to  preserve your investment, prepare for the impending change and implement a long-term planning process.

How does an IPv6 address affect your experience?

No one really knows the full answer. That is  why the Internet Society is sponsoring a global test run  of  IPv6 use on June 8th, known as World IPv6 Day. It’s an opportunity for many of the major technology industry players to conduct an unprecedented experiment by enabling IPv6 on the Internet.

In fact, next Tuesday, on May 17th you should tune into a free IPv6 Webcast to hear about steps you can take to prepare your network for World IPv6 Day.

What does this shift in Internet addresses mean to you and your business?

It means that IPv4 addresses will become increasingly expensive.   The Internet of Things has fueled tremendous growth in the number of devices which need a network address. It’s not just a PC at work and one at home as we had a few short years back. Today  everything needs addresses including your smart phone, tablet, the chips in your car, sensors in bridges and roadways, security cameras, IP phones and more.

In the not too distant future, smart devices, new applications and new businesses will only be issued IPv6 addresses. Make sure you’re ready for this change.

What can you do today?

  • Recognize this transition is real.
  • Educate yourself on the technology.
  • Find at least one application to migrate to IPv6.
  • Stage it out in phases on your network.
  • Build your confidence through experience to future proof your network with the assistance of Cisco Services.

As I said, this isn’t a Y2K situation. The Internet of Things won’t come to a screeching halt. But your business network, or your customers, may start to experience less than optimal service or connectivity due to the industry’s lack of knowledge about how old IP addresses and new IP addresses will behave together.

Don’t risk having “good enough” technology and products. Get involved with the biggest network transition of our lifetime and start your adventure with Cisco Services expertise.

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